There are a number of skin-care ingredients that offer versatility and work for various skin types and concerns. Hyaluronic acid, retinol, and the K-beauty favorite centella asiatica are just a few that fit under this category. But in recent years, another sciencey-sounding but pretty straightforward one is garnering all the hype: niacinamide.
Also known as vitamin B3, the molecule’s power lies in the fact that it’s water-soluble. This means that it can be easily absorbed into the body (fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed by lymph and stored inside major organs, only to be used when needed).
And since it dissolves so easily in water, niacinamide is a prime ingredient for restoring moisture to dry skin, among many other things, including brightness, smoothness, and more even.
“Niacinamide is a superstar antioxidant ingredient and found as a key ingredient in many of my favorite anti-aging skin-care products,” says Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Soko Glam. “It’s a well-studied ingredient that absorbs quickly into your skin, which increases antioxidant ability of the skin, improves skin-barrier function, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There are also some studies that prove it can also decrease redness.”
It also plays well with other products in your skin-care routine; in fact, it’s pretty common to see the ingredient mixed in with other multipurpose ones, such as retinols, peptides, and acids. So how exactly do you use it?
Look for products that pair it with other moisturizing agents and always use before applying your sunscreen. Ahead are 15 products to get you started.
Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution
A microfiber sheet mask for those looking to even out their skin tone.
$9 at Sephora
Evelom Brightening Mask
A 100-percent cotton mask that hydrates as it addresses hyperpigmentation.
$106.60 at Evelom
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration
A head-to-toe moisturizer that delivers ample hydration for those living with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
$30 at First Aid Beauty
First Aid Beauty
GlamGlow Instamud 60-Second Pore-Refining Treatment
The brand's newest mask is formulated with niacinamide to moisturize the skin and blur the appearance of pores simultaneously.
$42 at GlamGlow
Skin Inc Vitamin B3+ Serum
A blend of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid for hydrating and strengthening the skin's barrier.
$35 at Skin Inc
Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
While sulfur dries out breakouts, niacinamide is also distributed to the skin to prevent dark spots afterward.
$55 at Sephora
Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask Hydration
Collagen, niacinamide, and egg extracts combine to provide ample hydration.
$24 at Sephora
Too Cool For School
Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion
This sensitive-skin sunscreen is also formulated with guaiazulene, a redness-taming ingredient.
$20 at Soko Glam
Klavuu Relief Pearlsation Body Essence
In addition to its moisturizing properties, this body lotion is scented with a relaxing blend of vanilla, cedarwood, and jasmine.
$25 at Soko Glam
Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion
Snail secretion filtrate fights dark spots, while niacinamide and other multitaskers hydrate.
$20 at Soko Glam
Patchology FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gels
Hydrate dry lips with these biodegradable masks, which include niacinamide so your kissers don't lose their natural water content.
$15 at Ulta
Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
Apply this booster before your moisturizer to address dry skin and uneven skin tone.
$42 at Paula's Choice
PCA Skin Intensive Brightening Treatment
This nightly retinol treatment improves the texture of your skin, while also keeping it hydrated once those dead skin cells have been sloughed away.
$109 at PCA Skin
Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer
Prep and protect your skin before makeup by spritzing the face with this cooling hydrator.
$42 at Smashbox
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant
A slightly abrasive powder cleanser that moisturizes just as well as it exfoliates.
$59 at Dermalogica